SEC Chair Promises Strong Crypto Regulation
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SEC Chair Promises Strong Crypto Regulation

2 years ago

While emphasizing consumer protection, former MIT professor Gary Gensler said clear regulation will boost cryptocurrency market.

SEC Chair Promises Strong Crypto Regulation


Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Gary Gensler promised strong regulation of the cryptocurrency market, but said it would ultimately be good for the industry.

The appointment of Gensler, who taught cryptocurrency and digital assets at MIT for several years before being named the Biden Administration’s top securities regulator, cheered many industry leaders, who have long called for clear regulations

In an Aug. 3 interview with Bloomberg, Gensler warned that his long-standing interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency would not make him go easy on consumer protection. 
“While I’m neutral on the technology, even intrigued—I spent three years teaching it, leaning into it—I’m not neutral about investor protection,” Gensler said. “If somebody wants to speculate, that’s their choice, but we have a role as a nation to protect those investors against fraud.”

That said, he called strong regulation a vital component for the success of any technology, pointing out that the auto industry didn’t really take off until governments laid out the rules of the road like speed limits and provided infrastructure like traffic lights that had not been necessary with horse-drawn carriages, Bloomberg reported. 

“It’s only with bringing things inside—and sort of clearly within our public policy goals—that a technology has a chance of broader adoption,” Gensler said.

Congress recently began work on the regulation — and taxation — of cryptocurrency and digital assets in a big way with the introduction of a bill proposing comprehensive regulation of the market by Rep. Don Beyer (D- Va.) on July 29. The introduction of the “Digital Asset Market Structure and Investor Protection Act,” comes as a bipartisan Senate bill proposes raising $28 billion in taxes from cryptocurrency as part of a larger bill to fund a $550 billion infrastructure bill.

A Wide View of Crypto

Gensler’s interest in cryptocurrency has led him to take a broad view of the agency’s responsibilities, Bloomberg reported. He said there are seven separate initiatives looking at various parts of the cryptocurrency securities market, including initial coin offerings, trading venues, lending platforms, decentralized finance, stablecoins, custody, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

He added that he is pushing the agency to take as wide a view as possible of its regulatory role.

“I’ve asked the staff to use all of our authorities anywhere we can,” Gensler said.

He did not provide any time frame for the possible approval of Bitcoin ETFs, which is one of the cryptocurrency investment industry’s top priorities, as it would be an easy way for new investors to buy into the

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